MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Most know Goldy Gopher as the larger-than-life mascot rooting for the University of Minnesota. But did you know Goldy is a three-time national champion?

The university’s spirit squads returned this week from the Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship in Orlando. Once again, the dance team took home first place in the Pom and Jazz competitions.

What’s more is that Goldy took home the first place trophy in the UCA National Mascot Championship Competition.

“How can you not love this guy?” said Jacob Schauf, the university’s mascot coach. “He has an amazing amount of energy, he’s always putting smiles on faces, he’s super creative, super energetic, and he just makes your day just by being by him.”

Of course, Goldy put a lot of effort into earning the top mascot title.

“When you go to games, Goldy does a lot of work behind the scenes, doing pushups, working out, running the stairs in Williams Arena,” Schauf said.

He also makes props, does charades and dances at games. One of his most beloved dance moves is the head spin.

How’d he get into the competition? Well, it started with a qualification video.

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“That includes different categories of footage from game situations, crowd involvement, cheer band involvement, community service and campus events,” Schauf said.

Once Goldy qualified, he immediately began work on a themed choreographed skit, which he performed in Orlando over the weekend.

The skit, along with his highlight video, earned Goldy the gold.

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